Beverley Bagg (PACT Ballet Company, Ballet BC, Alberta Ballet)
Professional Program Classical Ballet and Coaching
Ms. Bagg began her training in both RAD and Cechetti in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has transitioned from a dancer into a master teacher. She was accepted at the Royal Ballet School in London, England, and danced soloist and principal roles with the PACT Ballet Company in South Africa for 15 years. Among the roles she performed were Bluebird and Princess Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty, Odette/Odile from Swan Lake, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Coppélia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Giselle in Giselle, Kitri in Nureyev’s production of Don Quixote, and the lead in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. She has also performed works by renowned choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, John Cranko, Goh Choo San, André Prokovsky, and Sir Frederick Ashton. Ms. Bagg has a diploma in biomechanics and physiology from the University of the Witwatersrand and integrates this knowledge into her teaching. Since immigrating to Canada, Ms. Bagg has been invited as a guest teacher to various companies and schools in the USA and Canada. She was Ballet Mistress of Ballet BC and Alberta Ballet and has been instrumental in staging Swan Lake and Giselle for South African Ballet Theatre and Washington Ballet. Spanning over 40 years of a passionate and very successful career as a professional dancer, teacher and coach, Ms. Bagg is able to draw on this experience and offer a rich and insightful approach to teaching and coaching. She establishes an environment of positive energy and demands excellence in a nurturing and inspiring manner.
Yana Dragieva (BA Classical Ballet Pedagogy)
Professional Program Classical Ballet, Character Dance
Ms. Dragieva graduated from the State Music University ”P.Vladigerov” (Sofia, Bulgaria) with a B.A. specializing in Classical Ballet Pedagogy. She went on to dance professionally with the Varna Opera House, Sofia State Music Theatre, “SAGA” Dance Company and “Sarrasany” Company. Ms Dragieva has also completed courses in Classical Ballet Methodology (Vaganova Technique), Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and has a minor in Kinesiology from the university of Montreal where she taught at major dance schools from 2002 – 2007. Ms. Dragieva comes to us after spending five years as “Head of the Dance Department” for the Ballet and Music Company Ltd in Singapore. Ms. Dragieva currently also teaches and coaches at Coastal City Ballet.
Desirée Dunbar (MFA Dance)
Professional Program Modern & Improv Techniques
Ms. Dunbar is an award winning choreographer and the creator of gush.com. She lights the way for her students to embrace their gifts, fill up their personal development toolbox and activate their potential. She is one of the few Canadians to teach the traditional Martha Graham technique and has had the honour of instructing at various schools including Simon Fraser University, University of Arizona, Centre National de la Danse (Paris, France) and Trintity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance (London, UK). Her company Dezza Dance is Artist-in-Residence with the City of Vancouver and is currently in rehearsals for a new work, A Port in the Storm premiering at the historic Aberthau Mansion in West Point Grey in November 2017.
Montana Moore (ISTD Advanced 2 Modern)
Professional and Pre-Professional Programs Jazz & Lyrical and Hip Hop
Ms. Moore began her training in RAD ballet at the age of 5, and went on to complete her RAD Advanced 1 and ISTD Modern Advanced 2 examinations with distinction at Pro Arte. During her intense years of training, she was selected to attend many summer dance intensives including Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet and Modas Dance in New Mexico and was awarded as one of NYCDA’S Senior Outstanding Dancer Scholarships. After graduating, Ms. Moore was selected to dance with Harbour Dance Center’s Intensive training Program (ITP), under the direction and training of Moe Brody, Liz Tookey, Pam Rosa and many others, where she would train in all styles of dance, voice, acting and other dance related studies. Ms. Moore has trained in other Vancouver-based dance companies including The Aviary, under the direction of Julio Fuentes which focuses on jazz-funk, contemporary-jazz and hip-hop. Currently Ms. Moore is training in a hip-hop based training company, Kill The Lights Co. (KTL), under the direction of Ken Yung and Shauna Smith. Her dedication has lead to many opportunities including recent music videos, performing for We Day at Rogers Arena, the 102nd Grey Cup Kickoff Show with Dallas Smith at BC Place, St. Paul’s Brilliant! and many more. In addition to pursuing her love for dance, she is continuing her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology entering her final year at UBC. Ms. Moore aims to incorporate her knowledge from psychology and her love for dance into her teaching to create a positive and inspiring learning environment for students. She is honoured to have the opportunity to teach young dancers and to help create a place for them to learn, grow and inspire one another.
Sophia Curalli (AISTD Imperial Ballet & Modern Teaching Associate; ARAD)
Pre-Professional Program & ISTD Ballet Grades
Ms. Curalli began her training in ISTD Ballet and Modern at Pro Arte at age seven. She went on to complete RAD Advanced 2 Ballet, ISTD Advanced 2 Ballet and ISTD Advanced 2 Modern as well as her Associate Teachers qualification in both ballet and modern. She was a member of Pro Arte’s CatchingART Aspirant Company in 2013 and 2014. Music is a passion for Ms. Curalli. She uses her voice as a solo vocalist at her church and also appears singing jazz standards in restaurants around Vancouver. Piano is her instrument of choice and she has completed her grade 10 RCM piano examination. Ms. Curalli appeared in Theatre Under the Star’s “Hairspray” in 2015 and “Mary Poppins” 2017. Not only has Ms. Curalli performed, she has directed and choreographed ‘Cabaret for a Cure’, a fundraising show for the cancer ward at BC Children’s Hospital. She continues to study as a scholarship student at Simon Fraser University. Ideally, she would like to use her business studies to work on the “other side of the desk” in a fine arts environment! Being a teacher is something that Ms. Curalli has aspired to ever since she was a young girl and she is thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with children as they discover the beauty of dance!
Alisha Ahmadi (BA (Hons) Rambert, UK; AISTD Imperial Ballet & Modern Theatre; Assoc. AFSA, ARAD)
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Ms. Ahmadi graduated from the Professional Training Program at Pro Arte Centre and was a member of the CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre Company with Artistic Director, Astrid Sherman. She danced both solo and group inaugural works, several of which were commissioned and composed by Michael Conway Baker, O.B.C. and accompanied by members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Lions Gate Sinfonia under the direction of Clyde Mitchell. In 2013, Alisha moved to London, England where she graduated with a BA (Hons) at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. While in England, she danced with Rambert Dance Company in their productions of Itzik Galili’s A Linha Curva, performed at Sadler’s Wells, as well as an original work by artistic director Mark Baldwin, The Creation performed with live music at the Garsington Opera. She was also privileged to work with other choreographers such as Darren Ellis, Antonia Francheschi, Kerry Nicholls and emerging young artists Jason Mabana, Arielle Smith, and Chris Thomas. In December 2016, Alisha moved back to Vancouver as a freelance dancer and most recently has performed with the response under the directorship of Amber Funk Barton with guest choreographer Heather Laura Grey at The Shadbolt Theatre. Alisha is an Associate of the ISTD in both Imperial Ballet and Modern Theatre as well as AFSA Acrobatics. Although she still seeks career opportunities for herself, Alisha loves to encourage and give as much knowledge to the next generation of dancers to reach their fullest potential as artists.
Leah Kos (Stepping Tones International, SDTA – Associates, BA, BED, BCDEA)
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Ms. Kos began her training as a young dancer at the age of 4 at the Pat Prestwich School of Dance studying the SDTA Highland Syllabus, and Stepping Tones (Al Gilbert / MusicWorks Unlimited) Tap, Jazz and Musical Theatre. In 1986, Ms. Kos auditioned and was selected among hundreds to perform at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. Never the shy one, Ms. Kos performed a song and dance solo on the Plaza of Nations and performed various group numbers on other stages around the exhibition. As she continued to grow as a dancer, she competed in various dance festivals, highland competitions and championships, trained and travelled with the SFU Pipe Team, performed on cruise ships, and toured with Al Gilbert (“The Pied Piper of Dance”) when he came to BC for examinations and guest choreography. Leah kept up with her dance training after high school taking classes while working on her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees at UVIC and VIU. Completing her teaching degree in 2003, Ms. Kos is now a full-time high school teacher teaching English, Social Studies, and Performing Arts. Since 2006, Leah has worked at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts as a Teacher and Choreographer where her dancers consistently achieved great results at various festivals and competitions, including the BC Performing Arts Provincial Festival. She spent 3 seasons as Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Kirkwood Youth Dance Company touring with the company in LA (Disneyland: Dance the Magic), New York (Steps on Broadway, Minskoff Theatre, Dance the Magic), and to various events and performances around Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Ms. Kos loves any opportunity to provide the gift of dance to young dancers and is looking forward to working with the Pro Arte dancers this season!
Rosie Lewis (ISTD Advanced 2 Modern)
Pre-Professional Program Lyrical, Contemporary Jazz
Ms. Lewis began her dance training at the age of 7. She took RAD and ISTD ballet, as well ISTD modern. Ms. Lewis completed her ISTD and RAD Advance 1 ballet examinations as well as her Advance 2 modern examination with distinction at Pro Arte. During her time training in the intensive Contemporary Jazz program Ms. Lewis was awarded Triple Threat at NYCDA in her graduating year. Following graduation, Ms. Lewis was selected to dance in Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program (ITP); however, she chose to focus on her studies at UBC. During her time at UBC, she joined the UBC dance team where she had the opportunity to perform as well as choreograph dances. While on the UBC dance team Ms. Lewis performed at many fundraisers including Relay for Life, and Lace up for Kids. She also had the opportunity of collaborating with UBC’s acapella club. Ms. Lewis also joined the UBC cheer team and performed at UBC’s homecoming event. Currently Ms. Lewis is studying Human Kinetics Exercise Science at Capilano University. Her studies have included relevant courses in human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and sports injury/prevention, to name a few. Ms. Lewis is also a CSEP CPT (certified personal trainer) candidate. Through her education in kinesiology Ms. Lewis hopes to teach her students body awareness and safe technique. She is honoured and excited to have the opportunity to teach at Pro Arte and transfer her passion and enthusiasm for dance to her students.
Ms. Ouellette is originally from Vancouver and has trained and danced with some of the worlds finest ballet companies from Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She was Ballet Mistress for Ballet BC for 5 years and was the founding director of Ballet B.C.’s Mentor Program. She performed as a lead dancer, singer and actress in numerous musical theatres across Canada including the iconic Vancouver Playhouse production of A Chorus Line, Calgary’s Stage West’s, TUTS, MUSSOC and Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage. She has extensive TV/FILM choreographic credits including CBC TV specials, Columbia Pictures promos, Feature films for Showtime and the Fox network and various TV series for the Fox network. Some of her most recent achievements are, Royal City Musical Theatre as choreographer for “My Fair Lady” April 2015, where she has also been the Artistic Associate for the past 3 years, Choreographer for UBC Opera Department’s production of “The Merry Widow”, choreographer for the Kay Meek Youth Conservatory and production, staging the Vancouver Opera’s Bravo Gala, The Richmond Gateway Theatre’s musicals, Sound of Music, The King and I, The Secret Garden, and Brigadoon. She also writes a monthly feature article for Just Dance Magazine entitled “Suzanne sits down with….” Suzanne’s passion, enthusiasm, and extensive background in many facets of the performing arts, make her in great demand as a ballet / musical theatre teacher, choreographer, rehearsal director and adjudicator.
Pro Arte on-site Physiotherapist
Erika Mayall began dancing at the age of 3 and continued to dance full time on the North Shore throughout her elementary and high school career. She completed her ISTD Advanced 2 Modern as well as Advanced 1 Ballet and Tap examinations. Through years of dancing and part time teaching, Erika developed a keen interest in the human body and movement analysis. This led to an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario with a specialization in Athletic Injuries, and a further Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of British Columbia. Erika currently works in a private practice setting specializing in orthopaedic and sports related injuries with a focus on dance related injuries. She has a keen interest in not only treating dance related injuries, but also preventing injury and maximizing performance potential of each dancer. Erika has completed specialized training in the field of dance medicine in both Australia and the United States and has studied with leaders in the field such as Craig Phillips and Lisa Howell. Erika is an active member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and has been invited to present at conferences in the United Kingdom and Singapore. Together with Astrid Sherman, she continues to conduct research and expand her knowledge in the field of dance medicine.
Susie Higgins (Body Control Pilates Instructor (UK)/non-practising Physiotherapist)
Pilates and Dance Conditioning/Rehab Specialist
Susie Higgins found her way to Pilates through her original profession as a physiotherapist working mainly with sports injuries and spinal problems. She is a certified Bodycontrol Pilates (UK) Instructor and teaches one on one or group Pilates for Fitness, clinical Pilates (rehabilitation, MS and Parkinson’s) as well as pre and postnatal Pilates out of two studios on the Northshore and teaches at Pro Arte Centre. Determined to address the specific needs of dancers from early on in their dance training, Susie is working with Pro Arte Centre to set up Pilates based exercise programs and to provide education on anatomy, injuries and injury prevention. This will provide the dancer with another set of tools to draw from in their everyday training and at those times when injury demands specific rehabilitation.
Dhana Musil (certified Iyengar yoga instructor/Bsc Applied Nutrition)
Yoga & Nutrition
Dhana Musil is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and Nutritionist, with a strong background in anatomy and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Nutrition. She began exploring yoga’s therapeutic effects and food as medicine in her late teens during her extensive global travels. Dhana discovered the world of Iyengar yoga through senior teacher Ingelise Nherlan in 1992. She spent over a decade traveling and living in Asia where she raised her daughter, taught and worked as a Doula. She has studied with many Senior Iyengar teachers and currently is teaching Iyengar yoga to adults, ballet students and children’s yoga classes in schools. Visit Dhana’s website: www.Dhana.ca
Costume & Wardrobe Head